How to remove a tampon

If you’re using a tampon for the first time, you may be anxious about how you go about removing it.

But you needn’t worry, removing a tampon is really easy if you’re using it correctly. And you’ll soon get the hang of it. You just pull on the string gently but firmly and it should come out without a hitch. If there’s resistance when you pull on the string and it doesn’t come out easily, it may be that you need to leave it inside longer. It could still be dry. Ideally, you should change your tampon every four hours, with eight hours being the maximum time you can safely keep one in.

If you can’t find the string, don’t panic. You should be able to reach it by getting into a squatting position and gently putting your thumb and finger inside your vagina to find the tampon and remove it.

Try and be mindful about disposing of your tampon. It’s best not to flush your used tampon down the toilet. It could cause a blockage. Instead, wrap it in some toilet paper and put it in the sanitary disposal unit (found in most public toilets) or in the bin. Then always wash your hands.

It shouldn’t hurt when you remove your tampon. If it’s been in for at least four hours and you feel discomfort on removal, it could be that your flow isn’t strong enough for this particular tampon. This will mean there isn’t enough lubrication between the tampon and your vaginal walls, and it’s causing friction when you pull on the string. You can use a little coconut oil or olive oil on your fingers to help ease it out. Or, you could pee before removing it to relax your vaginal muscles.

The best way to avoid discomfort when removing tampons is to wear the right absorbency for your flow, and only use tampons when you are certain you are on your period. Until you are sure it has started, use a sanitary pad, and do the same when your flow is tapering off at the end of your period. If you’re looking for something to protect your underwear both before and after your period, don’t use a tampon. They’re not suitable for everyday use as they’re far too absorbent. Instead, use a panty liner for those in-between days.

If you continue to experience pain whenever you remove a tampon you’ll need to see your doctor to check for infection or vaginal abnormalities.

FAQ

How do I remove a tampon?

To remove a tampon, pull on the string gently but firmly and it should come out easily. If you’ve worn it for four hours or more and it feels uncomfortable when you remove it, you may need to use a smaller one to suit your flow.

How do I dispose of a tampon?

After removal, wrap the tampon in toilet paper and put it in the bin or sanitary disposal unit. Do not flush it or you could cause a blockage. After disposing of a tampon, always wash your hands.

What do I do if I feel pain on removing a tampon?

It shouldn’t hurt when you remove your tampon. If it has been in for at least four hours and you feel discomfort on removal, it could be that your flow isn’t strong enough for this particular tampon. Wear the right absorbency for your flow, and only use tampons when you are certain you are on your period. If you carry on experiencing pain whenever you remove a tampon, you will need to see your GP to check for infection or vaginal abnormalities.

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